Patients with chronic instability or late dislocation following total hip arthroplasty often require operative management. Unfortunately, there is an increased risk of recurrent dislocation following revision in these patients. Over the past decade the use of constrained devices for patients with chronic instability has gained increased interest; however, there is a paucity of studies available in the literature regarding the use of these devices. The purpose of this study was to analyze the available literature over the past 15 years, focusing on larger, long-term studies, to obtain recommendations from the respective articles for indications and contraindications for the use of constrained devices. Our review of eight reports included 1,199 hips in 1,148 patients with a total mean follow-up of 51 months (range, 24 to 124 months). The mean rate of dislocation following revision with a constrained liner was 10% and the mean re-operation rate for reasons other than dislocation was 4%. We concluded that constrained liners are an option for patients who have failed management of instability with other implants, those with instability of unclear etiology, those with cognitive problems who are unable to follow dislocation precautions, those with deficient abductors, and elderly or low-demand individuals with well-positioned implants requiring revision.
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